Saturday, February 25, 2017

"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" Sorting with Google Slides

With the birthday of Dr. Seuss coming up this week (March 2nd) millions of children will be doing activities related to many of his wonderful books. I have always been a fan of Dr. Seuss' work, having read his books more times than I can remember to my kids.

At one of our school they are highlighting one book each day, with projects tied to the book of the day. In preparation for the week, they asked if I could help out with some technology ideas for some of the activities.

I was more than happy to connect my love of Dr. Seuss with technology! For the first day this week the book will be "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." As we thought about the book, we decided a fun related activity may be using a graphic organizer to sort fish based on their characteristics.

To do this we created a Google Slides template. Some of the slides have students dragging fish into Venn Diagram bubbles based on characteristics, and other slides have the fish already in the bubbles so that the students need to figure out what rules have been used.

See below to get your own copy of the "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Sorting Template", as well as detailed directions on how it can be used.

Get a Copy of the Template

This activity is created with Google Slides. To get your own copy of the template simple click the link below.

Your students can click this link to get their own copy, or you can use Google Classroom to push out a copy of the template to each of your students.

What's in the Template

The Google Slide template has multiple parts for the activity. These include:

  • Slide 1 - The title slide
  • Slide 2 - A brief set of directions
  • Slides 3 through 11 - Venn Diagrams with descriptions. Students drag fish into the correct parts of the diagram.
  • Slides 12 through 18 - Venn Diagrams without descriptions. Fish are already in the diagram, so the students need to determine the rule for each.
  • Slides 19 and 20 - Blank Venn Diagrams for the students to create their own activities.
  • Slide 21 - A bunch of extra fish students can use to make their own diagrams.


This activity is designed to help students work on sorting items based on multiple characteristics, and to look for characteristics that are true for different groups of items. On each slide you will find fish of different colors, sizes, and numbers. You will also find bubbles for grouping the fish.

There are three main activities your students can do with the slides:

Activity #1

On some slides the bubbles will have descriptions. Drag the fish into the bubbles that describe them. If a fish fits in more than one bubble, put it where the bubbles overlap.

Activity #2

On other slides, the fish will already be sorted in the bubbles. On those slides you need to figure out the rules for each bubble and type the descriptions in the boxes.

Activity #3

Finally, there are blank slides where you can add your own images to make new sorting puzzles. To add items, students can copy and paste the extra fish from the final slide, or they can add totally new pictures by clicking "Insert", then "Image", then "Search".

When creating your own new sorting puzzles, think of all the creative ways you can categorize the fish. This might include:

  • Color (red, blue, green, yellow, etc.)
  • Size (small or big)
  • Quantity (1 fish or 2 fish)
  • Number of eyes (1 eye or 2 eyes)
  • Teeth (teeth or no teeth)
  • Direction (facing left or facing right)
  • Or come up with your own!

Student-created puzzles should be shared with classmates or shown on the projector for everyone to solve.


As you celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday, or anytime throughout the year, please feel free to make copies of the "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Sorting Template" for use with your students. It can be a fun way to develop skills with sorting, determining rules, problem solving, creativity, and computer proficiency.

If your students come up with their own Venn Diagram puzzles, I would love to see them. Feel free to share them below or through social media.

Post by Eric Curts
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  1. How fun Eric! Students will love this...

  2. Glad I stumbled upon Control Alt Achieve! Going to share with my teachers ��

    1. Glad to have you here Lynne! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks! I will be sharing this with my teachers.

  4. Seriously - you come up with the most amazing stuff! Thank you so much for your willingness to share!

    1. You are so welcome Stacy! So glad you find the activities to be helpful!

  5. This is fantastic!! I'll be sharing this with our staff too! And you have already inspired me to adapt and use this strategy in other subject areas and grades! Thank you!

  6. This is really awesome! Thank you for sharing :)

  7. Terrific activity! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I really appreciate you gave me permission to translate this slidedeck into Dutch so children in the Netherlands will be able to play with this puzzle also!
    Thanks a lot for sharing.

  9. We are celebrating Read Across America Week at our school too! We also are highlighting a book each day from Dr. Seuss. I had my K-1 students checking out the site, but your activity is so much more engaging. Thanks for sharing! You are so creative!

  10. Thank you Eric. I am using this in my classroom this week =)

  11. I have already shared this with one of my teachers! Thanks for all of your AWESOME ideas!

  12. Eric,
    Question... Is there any way to copy these google slides and put them into smart notebook?

    OR... is there a way to have the slides be in presentation mode but not move to the next screen as you move the pieces on a smartboard?

  13. Outstanding! I love this the way it is, and I see lots of applications for use in other subjects/grade levels. As always, thanks for sharing!!